Infectious Diseases 2018

Infectious Diseases 2018

USDA: Virulent Newcastle Disease in a backyard chicken flock in California

19 May, 2018

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Los Angeles County, California. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease, previously referred to as exotic Newcastle disease, in the U.S. since 2003. The 2002-03 outbreak, originally confirmed in backyard poultry in Southern California, spread to commercial poultry operations in California and backyard poultry in Arizona, Nevada and Texas.  The outbreak, from discovery to eradication, lasted eleven months.  The outbreak response led to the depopulation of 3.16 million birds at a cost of $161 million.
No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products. In very rare instances people working directly with sick birds can become infected. Symptoms are usually very mild, and limited to conjunctivitis and/or influenza-like symptoms.